A macabre novel in verse of loss, longing, and identity crises following a poet who resurrects pop star Selena from the dead.
Melissa Lozada-Oliva's Dreaming of You is an absurd yet heartfelt examination of celebrity worship.
A young Latinx poet grappling with loneliness and heartache decides one day to bring Tejano pop star Selena Quintanilla back to life. The séance kicks off an uncanny trip narrated by a Greek chorus of gossiping spirits as she journeys through a dead celebrity prom, encounters her shadow self, and performs karaoke in hell.
In visceral poems embodying millennial angst, paragraph-long conversations overheard at her local coffeeshop, and unhinged Twitter rants, Lozada-Oliva reveals an eerie, sometimes gruesome, yet moving love story.
Playfully morbid and profoundly candid, an interrogation of Latinidad, womanhood, obsession, and disillusionment, Dreaming of You grapples with the cost of being seen for your truest self.
About the Author
Melissa Lozada-Oliva is the child of Guatemalan and Colombian immigrants. She co-hosts the podcast Say More and is a member of the band Meli and the Specs. She holds an MFA in poetry from NYU and her writing has been featured in Remezcla, PAPER, The Guardian, The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 4, Wirecutter, Vulture, Bustle, Glamour, The Huffington Post, Muzzle Magazine, The Poetry Project, Audible, and BBC Mundo. She is from Massachusetts and lives in New York City.
“Melissa Lozada-Oliva’s kinetic, pop-operatic Dreaming of You is like some terrific amalgam of fan fiction and fantasy nonfiction; a Selena monograph made of memoir, myth and magic. Her partly satirical, partly ecstatic linguistics constitute a whole other sort of literary hybrid. And, while I strain to describe Lozada-Oliva's virtuosity, I want to very plainly say, at the heart of it all, Dreaming of You is a collection of moving, mercurial poems. Melissa Lozada-Oliva is truly a singular new voice.“ —Terrance Hayes, National Book Award-winning author of Lighthead
"Dazzling, playful, and likely to break your heart at least twice. I love Dreaming of You five-hundred times as much as I hate writing blurbs. Melissa Lozada-Oliva is a magician.” —Kelly Link, author of Get in Trouble
"Some use the term 'confessional poetry' to disparage the writer. However, there is a craft to revealing a secret. Ask your favorite chismoso. Melissa Lozada-Oliva's Dreaming of You is a delight to read because Lozada-Oliva knows how to make awkwardness flinch, how to make crushes flutter, and how to make despair cry. Melissa Lozada-Oliva is the poet laureate of chisme." —José Olivarez, author of Citizen Illegal
"Like pop stardom, Melissa Lozada-Oliva’s Dreaming of You is all truth and all fiction, all at once; something we imagined and something we survived, the same way a girl we’re in love with is a girl we made up. I’m talking about both Selena and Melissa, I’m talking about Melissa the protagonist and Melissa the author, I’m talking about ghosts and heroes and ex-lovers and ourselves. Mostly, I’m saying that this collection, a macabre carnival, heals reality by distorting it, calls memory what it is: a funhouse, a roomful of mirrors where you can’t tell if the person you made out with was your crush or yourself, to which Lozada-Oliva shrugs and says, What's the difference?" —Olivia Gatwood, author of Life of the Party
"Dreaming of You is a party. One of those unforgettable ones, where everyone who is haunted encounters their ghosts and has a good time. Only in Melissa Lozada-Oliva’s beautiful, irreverent voice can we resurrect the beloved Selena in a seance gone wrong; only in her voice can we dance with dead celebrities, encounter the 'You' in the poem, get ghosted by our ghosts, or break Yolanda out of prison. Delightful, dark, funny, perverse, loving—the poems that make up this novel are so alive, and so modern, they pulse." —Sally Wen Mao, author of Oculus
"Dreaming of You is as warm and frank as your big sister giving you the real sex talk. It understands perfectly the singular agony of girlhood. To read it is to fall in love—with Selena, with the author, with all the unbound violent joy of which only girls are capable." —Rax King, author of Tacky
"Thank god for Melissa Lozada-Oliva! Dreaming of You is a mystical, hungry, thumping heart; it's funny and haunting and will be alive long after we are all dead and gone." —Catherine Cohen, comedian and co-host of Seek Treatment
“Dreaming of You is fearlessly open, so friendly in its darknesses, beckoning again and again for us to come on in, to join this buoyant writer as she lets her imagination excavate feeling, examine celebrity, connections, lonelinesses and the oddities and beauties that become us." —Aimee Bender, author of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake